One painful delivery could have cost New Zealand cricket captain Ross Taylor $1.35 million.
Taylor will undergo surgery today after suffering a fractured left forearm thanks to a thunderbolt from South African fast bowler Morne Morkel on day four of the third test at the Basin Reserve.
He will be sidelined for a minimum of four weeks, but probably longer depending on his recovery.
It will rule him out of most, if not all, of the Indian Premier League starting on April 4, in which Taylor was poised to take up what's understood to be a $US1.1 million ($NZ1.35m) per season contract with the Delhi Daredevils.
He was traded for an undisclosed sum in February by his former team, the Rajasthan Royals, who signed him for $US1m the previous season.
IPL cricketers are only paid for matches they play, which left New Zealand Cricket Players Association boss Heath Mills, who was at the Basin yesterday, predicting a big financial hit for the country's first million dollar cricketer.
"Obviously it's very disappointing for Ross, and it will have a major impact on his earning potential in the IPL," Mills said.
The only compensation for Taylor could be insurance that is offered through FICA, the parent body of the NZCPA. It remained unclear today whether Taylor had taken out a policy.
Taylor may yet recover to play in the latter stages of the IPL, which runs until May 27. New Zealand Cricket's medical director, Dr Ian Murphy, said in a statement today an orthopaedic surgeon recommended surgery on Taylor's fractured ulna bone.
"This will give him the best opportunity to recover with the actual return date determined by the speed of his recovery from surgery," Murphy said.
"It is not anticipated he will be able to play within the next four weeks but this will depend on how quickly the injury has healed and Ross's level of comfort."
Taylor won't miss any international matches, aside from the final day of the test today. New Zealand's next tour doesn't start until late June, to the West Indies.
A pained Taylor tried to bat on, but couldn't, and wandered off with his arm hanging limply. He received a consoling pat on the shoulder from South African fast bowler Dale Steyn.
New Zealand assistant coach Trent Woodhill said Taylor was "gutted" that his promising innings of 18 was cut short. He backed Taylor to make a speedy recovery.
"I wouldn't underestimate Ross and his powers of recuperation. The way he came back from his calf injury [against Zimbabwe on January 27], I think he will work hard to be right [for the IPL]."
- The Dominion Post
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